Telegram, a favorite messaging app that is commonly used among the crypto community, is planning to hold the biggest ICO of all time.
Doing Due Diligence
The messaging company is looking to raise more than $2 billion form their upcoming sale, thus outpacing the current largest ICO falling short of the $300 million raised mark. In 2017 there was more than $4 billion raised through ICOs, which is just over half of what Telegram are planning to raise.
As there are such significant sums of money being talked about this offering, a number of fraudulent agents have seen this as a perfect opportunity to dupe investors into giving them their funds after they have posed as Telegram.
The Telegram ICO offers two stages, the first being a private sale for select investors and then opening the sale to the public. Their public sale will not start until March, but scammers are convincing people into believing that it has already begun.
As the white paper for this ICO has been leaked, actors posing as members of Telegram have precisely what they needed to look somewhat genuine. They can use this legitimate information and leverage the hype surrounding this ICO in spin the venture in their favor.
The most popular of these scams to date was that of Gramtoken.io which has since gone offline. It has been said that they managed to raise over $5 million after they had the Telegram ICO whitepaper on the site, as well as similar details about the team and project roadmap to make it look authentic.
Angry investors exposed the scam on social media, and it is yet unknown as to whether the site was taken down by the owners before they received too much attention or if another authority took action.
There have been many other fake sites trying to run similar scams popping up including tgram.cc, grampreico.com, and ton-gram.io.
It is also believed that fake emails are making the rounds talking about investment opportunities in the Telegram ICO. One of the most successful websites, Ton-gram.io, is supposed to have enticed 70 people to invest more than $30,000.
This strategy showcases just how risky ICOs can be if investors do not do the proper due diligence. There are many scams like this in the sector and while authorities are now doing their best to crack down on rogue sales, often by the time they intervene the damage is already done, and it is too late for the investors to recoup their funds.
Especially with an offering that is as hyped up as the Telegram sale, there are bound to be many more scammers trying to cash in between now and the launch of the public sale in March.